Government plays down US aid cut

The government says the decision taken by the United States to cut aid to Sri Lanka will not have an affect on the country.
A government information department statement quoted a “senior government official” as saying that the aid reduction to Sri Lanka is as a result of the continued economic trend in the US.
It was reported yesterday that US secretary of state John Kerry had proposed a 20 per cent cut in the American aid to Colombo.
It is believed to be the highest drop for any South Asian country in Kerry’s budgetary proposals which was sent to the Congress last week for its approval.
In actual term, Kerry has proposed a $ 11 million in aid to Sri Lanka, which, according to a senior state department official, is a “drop of 20 per cent” from the actual spending in the 2012 fiscal.
“So we made a decision that Sri Lanka as a middle income country, and in a country where we are having difficulty in programming, that is a place where we should probably cut that have a lot of own resources,” an official had said.
While the actual US development assistance to Sri Lanka in 2012 was $ 8 million, Kerry has proposed about $ 6 million for 2014.
Majority of the US fund to Sri Lanka would go into key projects related to judicial reform and increasing Maldives counter-terrorism efforts. (Colombo Gazette)